Two King County corrections officers earned Gold in this year’s Healthy Incentives program, and they did it one step at a time up 12 flights of stairs each morning.
Sonya and Randy Weaver are both corrections officers assigned to court detail with the County’s Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. They have been with DAJD for 19 and 20 years, respectively, and have been a married couple for 10 of those years. Each work day morning, the couple climbs the 12-story stairwell of the King County Courthouse before their shift begins, and continue to opt for stairs whenever they can throughout the day.
“Basically, if we are not escorting a detainee, we will take the stairs,” said Sonya. “Our philosophy is, if we don’t have an inmate with us and it’s just us going from point A to point B, if there are stairs available, that’s how we’ll get there. We’ll take the tunnel and we’ll get our butts up those stairs!”
Each achieved Gold early on in this year’s Healthy Incentives Text for Well-Being personal action plan by texting their activity “anytime from anywhere” three or more times per week for six weeks, allowing each the opportunity to save $500 on their deductible for the next year.
But the rewards don’t end there. “I am not going to lie to you, I do not love doing the stairs,” added Sonya. “Every day I say, ‘oh crap, I have to do this again?’ That’s just the way it is. But we need to be in shape because we need to be able to provide meaningful response to our coworkers if something were to happen.” “Also, we’ve had power outages in the Courthouse,” said Randy. “If you have an inmate, and you need to go from bottom to top, you need to be in better shape than that inmate.”
“Randy and Sonya show us how incorporating one healthy habit into our daily routing can have a great impact,” says Employee Health and Well-Being Manager Karleen Sakumoto. “Find a partner and identify a specific goal or activity. It’s not going to be all fun, but keep it up!”
In addition to keeping fit for their duties, Sonya also wanted to manage the inherent workplace stress that comes with being a corrections officer, and Randy wanted to lose a little weight. Along the way, Sonya lost 20 pounds this year and, while his weight hasn’t changed yet, Randy’s belt has tightened two notches! Being in shape goes a long way toward staying healthy in a field that is demanding of one’s back and joints, especially considering that the belt and vest each officer wears adds another 25 pounds.
The couple has been involved with Healthy Incentives since the program launched. Randy even had the opportunity to attend the National Labor Conference in Chicago with a few other King County employees 10 years ago. “Our County was the first to roll out this type of program,” added Randy, “and we were invited to talk about it as part of a Healthy Incentives panel discussion.”
This year, in addition to keeping each other inspired, they’ve inspired two of their court detail colleagues to take to the stairs. You don’t have to do the stairs to earn Gold with Healthy Incentives, but Sonya’s and Randy’s determination and achievements with their individual action plans are definitely admirable.
Text for Well-Being, the action plan Sonya and Randy employed, is only one of eight different individual action plan options. Most of the action plans need to be completed by the end of July and involve six or more weeks of reporting, so don’t wait too long to sign up.
You can reach out to Benefits, Payroll and Retirement Operations at 206-684-1556 or by email to ask any Healthy Incentives questions. For more information, visit the County’s Healthy Incentives web site and the Healthy Incentives blog.